Teams have the potential to achieve great things. Most people have at some point in their career been part of a team that appeared to achieve great results no matter what obstacles arose. On the flip side there probably have been times when hostility got in the way of team success and was even perhaps destructive. So what are my five tips for dealing with hostility in teams?
Tip 1: Do not ignore it
Teams can often fall into the trap of ignoring hostility in the hop that it will evaporate or disappear. The reality is that it can often become a bigger and bigger issue. Think of a snowball that turns into an avalanche. Create the opportunity for the hostility to be brought out into the open for discussion calmly and rationally.
Tip 2: Set agreements
Designing a set of agreements is an important part of developing a successful team. These agreements are not a set of rules imposed by the leader but a set of principles developed and owned by the team as a collective.
Tip 3: Use agreements as a reference point
Even if agreements are set, chances are that some people will revert back to old ways of behaving or working when the going gets tough. Use set agreements as a reference point in these times of hostility and, if necessary add new points to agreements.
Tip 4: Create a common language
Teams can develop a common language that they use to recognize and address hostility when it shows up. This might be something like a sign or a saying that everyone uses to flag up the existence of hostility. The structure used is not what matters it is purely a way of getting the team from a place of hostility to a place of action.
Tip 5: Keep focus on the purpose
Teams are usually established to achieve a common purpose or address a specific challenge. They will generally be hugely committed to whatever it is they are trying to achieve. When hostility appears, the energy and focus will be on the hostly rather than the purpose. If you are the team leader, in times of hostility, take time to re-focus on what they are seeking to achieve.
Hostility is neither good nor bad but just part of achieving results through teams. Being able to recognize and successfully respond to it is an important part of successful team leadership. So what can you do with your team to reduce hostility and increase achievement?
Source by Duncan Brodie